The competition among brokers can be fierce, but it rarely leads to punches being thrown.
Except for Thursday night.
The Chicago Real Estate Rumble featured real estate professionals stepping into the boxing ring for a good cause at Park West in Lincoln Park. The sixth annual event raised about $30,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, said event co-founder Greg Pekarsky, principal at RNP Realty Group.
“It’s just a riot,” said Pekarsky, who founded the event in 2013 with Ryan Cotter of Movement Mortgage and Albron Hana of PERL Mortgage. “It’s a celebration of the industry and it’s for a good cause. When everyone’s done punching each other, they hang out and have fun.”
More than 400 people came out Thursday to take in the nine amateur boxing matches, featuring agents and other real estate professionals. Pekarsky said spots in the boxing matches have become increasingly coveted. He said he could only accommodate about half the people who were interested in boxing at this year’s event.
“We had to turn down a lot more people this year than ever before,” he said.
The matches pit peers against each other, as was the case for Alex Colin and Mike Checuga. The two Re/Max brokers know each other, but Colin said that didn’t mean he was going to take it easy in the ring.
“I’m going for the kill,” he said with a laugh. “But obviously it’s all fun and games.”
Colin decided to volunteer for a boxing match because he had already been working out to lose weight, and wanted to try another challenge.
“I just wanted to try something different, and do something nice for the kids,” he said.
Not everyone was trying something new Thursday night. Julian Delgadillo boxed in his youth, and after attending last year’s Real Estate Rumble, he decided he wanted to put on the gloves.
“I’m excited,” Delgadillo, who works for Uber’s real estate division in Chicago, said right before his match. “It’s mainly for charity, but I wanted to get back into it.”
The Chicago Real Estate Rumble has raised about $120,000 for charity since its inception in 2013. It now has a sister event in Los Angeles. Pekarsky said he would like to expand the event to as many as eight cities, culminating with a prize fight in Las Vegas.
“We’re trying to make it one of the biggest real estate events in Chicago and hopefully the U.S.,” he said.